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Guide to the Erasmus Hall collection ARC.230

Center for Brooklyn History
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Nicholas Pavlik

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on March 21, 2023
eng using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Title: Erasmus Hall collection
Dates [inclusive]: 1787-2000
Abstract: The Erasmus Hall collection includes documents, ephemera, and publications from Erasmus Hall Academy and Erasmus Hall High School.
Quantity: 0.4 Linear Feet in one manuscript box and three oversize folders.
Call Phrase: ARC.230
Sponsor: This collection was originally processed and described as part of the project, "Uncovering the Secrets of Brooklyn's 19th Century Past: Creation to Consolidation," funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources, with additional support from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

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Historical Note

The first school to be chartered by New York State, Erasmus Hall Academy was founded as a private school in 1786 by Dutch settlers in the town of Flatbush in Kings County (the present-day borough of Brooklyn). The Academy's original building was built on land donated by the Flatbush Dutch Reformed Church the following year. The Academy was deeded to the City of Brooklyn in 1896, after which it became a public high school named Erasmus Hall High School. From 1905 to 1939, four adjoining buildings were constructed for the school around a central courtyard, and the school's original building underwent restorations in 1936, 1952, and 1987. As of 2011, the school continues to be a part of New York City's public school system, and is located at 911 Flatbush Avenue. It is now the second-oldest public high school in the United States.


  1. Taylor, B. Kimberly. "Erasmus Hall High School and Academy of the Arts," in The Encyclopedia of New York City, ed. Kenneth T. Jackson (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press; New York: New York Historical Society, c1995), 382.

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Scope and Contents

The Erasmus Hall collection is arranged into two series: Erasmus Hall Academy (1786-1896) and Erasmus Hall High School (1896-). Series 1: Erasmus Hall Academy includes a typescript copy of the Academy's certificate of incorporation from 1787; an account book listing all students and tuition payments from 1787 to 1792 and treasurers' accounts from 1819 to 1875; receipts for tuition payments and insurance policy documents dating from 1865 to 1869; and original and copied land records from 1787 to 1896, along with other materials. Series 2: Erasmus Hall High School includes images, ephemera, publications, and documents from the school.


The collection is arranged into two series by institution and time period. Within each series, the arrangement is roughly chronological.

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Access Points

Document Type

  • Land titles |z New York (State) |z Kings County
  • Insurance policies
  • Account books
  • Receipts (financial records)
  • Certificates of incorporation
  • Accounts

Subject Topics

  • School lands -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Deeds
  • Private schools -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Education -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Flatbush (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Open to users without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

While many items at the Center for Brooklyn History are unrestricted, we do not own reproduction rights to all materials. Be aware of the several kinds of rights that might apply: copyright, licensing and trademarks. The researcher assumes all responsibility for copyright questions.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); Erasmus Hall collection, ARC.230, Box and Folder number; Brooklyn Public Library, Center for Brooklyn History.

Related Materials

Brooklyn schools collection (CBHM.0006)

Historic American Buildings Survey photographs of colonial era buildings in Brooklyn, 1940 (V1974.044)

Brooklyn Yearbook Collection (BCMS.0031)

Brooklyn High School Newspaper Collection (BCMS.0030)

Art Seidenberg collection of Prospect Park and Erasmus Hall High School postcards (2017.013)

Lenore Schwartz school records (2017.010)

Ruth S. Harley family papers (2000.013)

Isobel Sokolow photographs (V1990.017)

Chronicles of Erasmus hall, 1906 (379 B87 C)

Notable alumni of Erasmus Hall High School, 2015 (373.74723 N)

An architectural history and adaptive use plan for Erasmus Hall Academy, 1986 (LB3221.J64)

Separated Materials

Some duplicates and original news clippings were discarded.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

If digital surrogates exist, they should be used in place of the originals whenever possible.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

BHS accession 1977.377 was the gift of Mrs. A. Lloyd Lott, 1946. BHS accession 1978.113 was the gift of Alma Uhlitz, 1974. BHS accession 1978.193 was the gift of Kranzt, Landau, Lieb and Nostrand, 1978. BC accession 2009.0015 was a transfer from the Queens Library, 2009. BC accessions 2018.0001 and 2018.0020 were purchased from Brian Merlis.

Processing Information

This collection was originally titled "Erasmus Hall Academy records" and combined BHS accessions 1977.377, 1978.113, and 1978.193. In 2023, materials from BHS accession 1985.054, BC accession 2009.0015, the Brooklyn ephemera collection (BCMS.0007), and the Brooklyn Collection clippings files were added as well and the collection was renamed to better reflect its contents.

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Container List

Series 1: Erasmus Hall Academy, 1786-1896

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Account book

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Alma Uhlitz, 1974.

Scope and Contents

Lists all students and tuition amounts paid (1787-1792) as well as treasurers' accounts (1819-1875).

Box: 1 Folder : 2 Lease [modern copies]

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These items and the two indentures of 1861 and 1893 were the gift of Kranzt, Landau, Lieb and Nostrand, 1978.

Box: 1 Folder : 3 Commercial course receipt
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Indenture
Box: OS-6 Receipts for payments of courses and insurance policies

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mrs. A. Lloyd Lott, 1946.

Box: 1 Folder : 5 Debating club notes
circa 1880s
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Catalogue
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Centennial materials
Box: OS-6 Indenture

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Series 2: Erasmus Hall High School, 1896-

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Images and postcards
circa early to mid-20th century
Box: 2 Glass plate negatives

Scope and Contents

Clubs, sports teams and graduating classes.

Box: 1 Folder : 9 Commencement programs
1904, 1907, 1920, 1922, 1941
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Event programs
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Correspondence

Scope and Contents

1983 letter is from Mayor Ed Koch to Mrs. Mindy M. Turkenitz of the Special Education Department.

1905, 1983
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Class Day programs
1907, 1924, 1935
Box: 1 Folder : 13-14 125th anniversary materials

Scope and Contents

Includes an anniversary publication and a pageant postcard set with nine of the original 11 postcards.

Box: 1 Folder : 15 Clipping about student riot
Box: 1 Folder : 16 Erasmian magazine
1935, 1970-1971
Box: 1 Folder : 17 150th anniversary materials
Box: 1 Folder : 18 Diplomas and certificates

Scope and Contents

The diploma was awarded to Frederick Kraushar and the certificates for achievement in Spanish and English were awarded to Judith Wagman.

Box: OS-6 Sing materials

Scope and Contents

Includes front page and clippings from The Dutchman, 1956, and a photocopy of a Sing button from 1957.

Box: 1 Folder : 19 Erasmus Hall Museum
1966, circa 1990s
Box: 1 Folder : 20 Bicentennial materials

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